2013 Cliburn Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko is the featured piano soloist in this recording of the Grieg Concerto in A minor and the Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 2 with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
[He] “matches his impressive keyboard prowess with probing emotional depth and daring individuality.” San Diego Story Grieg’s mission to promote the national music of Norway gave him a distinctive edge among his contemporaries, and the premiere of his Piano Concerto in A minor earned him the widespread success he had long been seeking.
While Grieg’s concerto is the work of a composer just beginning to find his place on the international cultural stage, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, written just a year earlier, has all the hallmarks of an artist who has already reached maturity.
When the great Russian pianist Anton Rubinstein came to Paris in the spring of 1868 to perform in a series of concerts with Saint-Saëns conducting, Saint-Saëns found the perfect opportunity to impress the public with another remarkable musical feat. Rubinstein decided it would be fun to round off his trip with a role reversal: he would make his Parisian conducting debut with Saint-Saëns at the piano and Saint-Saëns had just 17 days to write a new concerto for the occasion. The Concerto in G minor was premiered as planned just three weeks later to huge critical acclaim, particularly for Saint-Saëns’ facility at the keyboard in what is an especially virtuosic work and one of Saint-Saëns’ most witty and imaginative. Vadym Kholodenko captured the attention of jury, audience, and critics alike, taking home prizes for best performance of the chamber work and best performance of the commissioned work. He further demonstrated his artistry with a stunning cadenza in Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 – which he composed himself on the plane from Moscow to the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition. Since then, Kholodenko has continued to build an international reputation, appearing with major orchestras and in recital in the United States, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Singapore. Last season marked the beginning of his three-year association with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as its first ever artistic partner. The collaboration includes performances of the complete Prokofiev concertos, which are being recorded for harmonia mundi USA, as well as chamber music projects and international touring in 2016.